The Humberside Restorative Justice service (sometimes referred to as "RJ") has been commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide victims an opportunity to make contact with the person responsible for their offence and get questions answered. It gives victims the chance to tell the offender how the crime has affected them and the offender is then given the opportunity to repair this harm and make amends.
All victims of crime are entitled to seek Restorative Justice but the process will only take place if both victim and offender want it to, and if trained facilitators agree that it is safe.
RJ can be done in different ways – for example through face-to-face meetings, or exchanged messages, but it will always be done under the guidance of a trained professional.
The provision is being delivered by a specialist RJ charity, Remedi.
You can contact Remedi Humberside by email or phone:
Find out more about Remedi: Website Twitter Facebook
How it can help
You may welcome the opportunity to meet the offender and explain to them the harm that they have caused you. You will also be able to make suggestions as to how this harm can be repaired.
In some cases, victims and survivors find that meeting the person who has caused them harm leaves them feeling empowered, giving them a ‘voice’ in the criminal justice system.
You will be able to ask them why they did what they did, and other questions you may have. Some victims find that, even when they know the offender, meeting them in a safe, controlled environment and talking about what they did, makes them feel better about the prospect of potentially bumping into them again out in the community.
The empowered victim and survivor feel less vulnerable and threatened, and is able to move on with their life.
Offenders are confronted with the impact of their crime, putting a human face to the damage and harm they have caused. This is a very challenging experience for the offender and can be a powerful deterrent in committing crimes again in the future
When can RJ be used?
You can ask for RJ at any stage of the criminal justice process for most crimes – for example alongside a community order or prison sentence.
RJ isn’t an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system, it is tool used in addition to those formal outcomes.
Although there are no crimes specifically excluded as being suitable for RJ, certain categories of crime require additional work completed in the preparation and risk assessment stage. Examples of this include cases of domestic abuse.
All requests for RJ will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and if you ask for this service, you will be advised whether or not it is appropriate for your particular crime and case.
The specialist provider will work with partners in the criminal justice system – police, probation and rehabilitation services, prisons, youth offender teams – as well as other specialist victim services, to ensure the right support is in place for both the victim and offender.
RJ often involves a structured meeting, where a victim meets their offender face to face in a safe, controlled environment.
In preparation of any communication or meeting between a victim and offender, a trained facilitator will visit you and talk through the process, managing your expectations and answering any questions you may have. It is not uncommon for victims and survivors to have questions, concerns and queries about the RJ process. That’s why facilitators will only go ahead with the meeting once you are completely happy and comfortable with the arrangements.
Facilitators will go at your pace and neither you nor the offender will be under any obligation to take part in the process, and either of you can choose to withdraw from it at any time if you want to.
Sometimes, when a face to face meeting is not the best way forward, the victim and offender will communicate via letters, audio or video recording instead.
For any kind of communication to take place, the offender must have admitted to the crime, and both victim and offender must be willing to participate.
If you decide you no longer wish to take part, alternative options of support will be available to you.
At the end of any RJ meeting or message exchange, both parties will agree on a way to repair any harm done. This agreement will form the basis of the restorative process. This could be a simple apology, practically repairing the harm for any damage caused or a commitment from the offender to address their behaviour by attending a specific course.
Hear from others who have been through Restorative Justice in the videos below